Thank you, Writers Get Together, for taking part in the One Shade of Red launch blog tour.
One Shade of Red is my sexy spoof of the best-selling book you either love or hate, Fifty Shades of Grey.
I decided to turn it on its head: instead of a naive young woman who finds the perfect man, One Shade is about a believably naive young man who gets his sexual education from a slightly older woman: beautiful, independently rich, smart, sophisticated and sexually voracious.
One Shade of Red hits the e-book retailers on April 2. For links, check out the author’s blog, scottswrittenwords.blogspot.com.
This second stop on the blog tour is from Chapter 2: The Re-Do, which establishes the main characters’ relationship.
The tour began on March 26 at Alan McDermott’s Jambalian http://jambalian.blogspot.com blog, and continues on March 28 at Charity Parkerson’s blog, The SinnerAuthor.
Follow on for more of One Shade of Red!
Chapter 2: The Re-DoI actually had my hand on the door to the beer store when my cell phone chirped. The screen showed “Private number.” I took a couple of steps away from the store as I put the phone to my ear. “Hello?” I fully expected it to be Kristen; she was paranoid about cell phone stalkers.
“Damian, it’s Mrs. Rosse.” I nearly dropped the phone—a customer calling you out of the blue probably wouldn’t be good news.
“I want you to come over here right away and finish what you started,” she said.
So many ideas went through my head all at the same time, but none of them were right. “I’m sorry?” were the only words that made it out of my mouth, however.
“You left yesterday before I came back, and I know that we had agreed to that, but on the understanding that you would do a complete job of cleaning the pool, first.” Did her voice have a really bitchy edge to it, or was that just the way the cell phone made her sound?
“But I thought I had finished. I cleaned out all the leaves and grass and finished up with the pool vacuum.”
“Well, if it had been the very first time that you had ever cleaned a swimming pool, I could understand it,” she said. Yep, that’s definitely a bitchy, pissed-off edge. “You cleaned out the easy debris, but you didn’t clean off the green slime around the side.”
“Yes I did!” Don’t get mad, some small, wise part of my brain warned. And don’t tell her it was the first pool you’ve ever cleaned. She’s your only customer.
When did I start caring about this stupid job?
“Well, it’s not as bad as it was, but there’s still a lot of slime there. Now I’ve already paid you in full for the job, and it has not been done to my satisfaction. Quite frankly, it’s not to anyone’s satisfaction. I would have been mortified for any of my friends to see it.”
“I’m sorry,” I repeated. God, I sounded so lame.
“Well, it’s fine to be sorry, but that doesn’t do me much good, now, does it? No, I want you to get down here and finish the job properly.”
“Ooo-kay,” I said, holding back a lot of swear words. “When would you like me to come?”
“Right now!” She sounded genuinely surprised at my question.
“Uhh, well, it will take me some time,” I started to say. “I’m at the other end of town, and with traffic ...”
“Fine. I’ll leave the side gate unlocked for you. Just make sure you’re finished before two o’clock.”
“Two?” I would have to scramble to get my cleaning stuff together and drive over there and get the job done — if my crappy car didn’t break down. “I’ll try my best, Mrs. Rosse, but is there a reason it has to be done by two? Mrs. Rosse?”
Cell phones don’t click or anything when you hang up, I realized.
So there I was, back at the pool under the mid-afternoon sun, scraping and scrubbing disgusting, smelly slime off the tiles. I had taken my shirt off and put it back on again when I felt my skin begin to burn, and now the cotton was saturated with sweat. Every so often, I reached into the pool and splashed my face. I thought about getting into the pool and staying cool while I cleaned, but I didn’t dare the risk of making Mrs. Rosse any bitchier.
“Now even the fussiest bitch has to be happy with this,” I muttered as I wiped off the very last of the gunk.
“That’s much better,” made me jump and I dropped the debris net into the pool.
I turned to see Mrs. Rosse in her jogging suit: tight blue-and-white top stretched across her breasts, matching tight shorts, expensive Nike running shoes with the top edge of pink half-socks peeking above the ankles. I made an effort to raise my eyes to hers, away from the outline of her nipples pushing against her top. I dropped the bucket and slimy water slopped onto my feet.
“Sorry to scare you,” she laughed and stepped to the edge of the pool. “I just wanted to say that the edge looks great. Nice and clean, now. I guess it’s my fault, really, letting it get as dirty as I did before having someone in to clean it.”
“I didn’t hear you come in,” was all I could think to say. I wondered if she had heard my out-loud thought about fussy bitches.
She laughed, but carefully inspected all around the edge of the pool. I got down on my knees, face burning, to try to fish the net out without getting all wet. When I straightened up again, she was standing right in front of me.
“You’re awfully cute,” she said. My mouth opened, but nothing came out. What do you say? I tried to smile and tried even harder not to look at her nipples. “I think you deserve a tip for your hard work,” she added.